The revamped Los Angeles Lakers roster has played four preseason games thus far, with two left to go. Unfortunately, all of those games have resulted in ugly losses, with a lot of speculation swirling about whether this team can put it all together.
One of the biggest disappointments thus far for the Lakers has been the poor play of newcomer Russell Westbrook. Although it is only the preseason, Westbrook has done nothing to make fans believe the blockbuster trade was a good idea.
In two games played, Westbrook has turned the ball over 15 times while shooting an ugly 4-for-19 from the floor. Yet, despite being unable to get into a groove and committing turnovers at an alarming rate, the one-time NBA MVP isn’t concerned, nor does he believe it’s an issue with implementing Frank Vogel’s offense.
“Oh, it’s fine,” Westbrook said. “The turnover stuff is on me, but good thing they don’t count. Turn it over 15 times. Ain’t nothing nobody can do about it. It’s all good. It’s on me, though.
“Easy fix, though. Very easy. Just because timing. Just timing. Guys getting used to my speed, my pace, my timing. … Me just getting my timing back on passing. … They’re definitely on me. Nothing with the offense. … Those are all personal error, timing, and something we can figure out.”
The one thing that has stuck in the two games Westbrook has played in Purple and Gold is the speed and pace at which the veteran guard plays. Unfortunately, the rest of the team struggles to keep up with Westbrook’s pace, and as a result, he ends up being ahead of the pack, and the flow of the offense suffers.
Westbrook knows it’ll take time for things to come together and everyone to get on the same page when it comes to the pace of play with him on the floor running the show.
“It’s going to be a process,” Westbrook said. “In times like this, there’s going to be times where I thought we played great into the second half where the pace was really high, and things are flowing, and there’s going to be times where it don’t look so great. Adversity is a big thing and something that you should just take on and figure out how to fix it right away.”
Although four games have been played, the Lakers have yet to play their Big 3 simultaneously. Westbrook played alongside LeBron James in his first game and Anthony Davis in the second but has yet to play with both at the same time.
Issues are expected with a team filled with so many new faces and high expectations. It’s just a matter of working out the kinks with time on the floor, and time on the floor is one thing they haven’t had up to this point.
It remains to be seen if this new-look roster will come together the way the front office intended, but there’s a lot of basketball left to be played before an actual assessment can be made about whether this star-studded team will be a legitimate force to be reckoned with.
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